The award-winning Oakland County Holiday Lights map is back. It enables interested individuals to view the locations of holiday light displays countywide. The Oakland County Information Technology Department created the map in response to interest from local groups trying to find displays to visit around the county. Click on OaklandCountyBlog.com/HolidayLightsMap to interact with the map.
“The Oakland County Holiday Lights map boosts the quality of life in the county by allowing families and friends to get out into the community and enjoy the beautiful displays,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Most people only know about the displays in their local neighborhood. This is an opportunity to visit other communities.”
The Oakland County Holiday Lights map utilizes geographic information system (GIS) technology and crowdsourcing for homeowners, business and communities to submit their displays. Last year, all displays on the map noted increased traffic.
Holiday displays which collected money for charity last year indicated they had a significant increase in donations over 2016, a total increase of almost $78,000. For instance, Our Dancing Lights in Auburn Hills raises funds for The Rainbow Connection, which grants wishes to seriously-ill children. Last year, they raised $19,186.40 and were able to grant the wishes of two children. Also, My Light Show in Waterford Township collects money for the Michigan Humane Society. They raised a record-breaking $12,341.66 in 2017.
“The cool thing about the Oakland County Holiday Lights map is that it shows us what is possible when you listen to people,” Oakland County Deputy Executive/CIO Phil Bertolini said. “Some of these displays were generating revenue for charity, and in one case revenue went up 150 percent based on information citizens were putting out to us, and that we in turn were sharing with everyone else.”
The Oakland County Holiday Lights Map recently won three nationwide awards:
- Golden Post Award: Best Use of Crowdsourcing 1st Place. The 2018 Golden Post Awards honoring outstanding use of social media in government were announced at the 2018 Government Social Media Conference. It is the only major social media conference for U.S. city, county and state government.
- The National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for Civic Education and Public Information for 2018.
- Center for Digital Government, Government Experience Award Winner for the Project
Experience category of County-to-Citizen Experience for 2018.